Taking Charge of Your Own Healing as a Cancer Patient

“Back then, I had about one cancer patient a month. Now, I see at least one cancer patient every day.” – Dr C. D. Siby, president of CanSurvive Centre Malaysia and Chief Ayurvedic Physician at Ayur Centre Sdn Bhd.

For the past 10 years, the #1 and #2 killers remain as accidents and cardiovascular conditions, but the formerly #4 killer cancer has replaced metabolic disorders (such as diabetes) as #3 now. With rising cases comes a stronger push for awareness, and we had a conversation with Dr Siby to talk about the disease of cancer.

Every System has a Role to Play

Dr Siby has a Bachelor in Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery from Madras University in India, and has been practicing Ayurveda for almost 30 years. As the president of CanSurvive, he and the organisation gathers doctors and experts of different fields, bringing a holistic approach to cancer patients. At CanSurvive, they provide advice and guidance to help cancer patients explore all treatment options, whether they’re looking for something to complement conventional treatment or to seek alternative therapies. With this, they hope to reduce the patients’ burden by giving them proper explanations of their conditions, and their options.

Image Credit: CanSurvive

Healing isn’t Done by Doctors

No, it’s done by you. Oftentimes, the diagnosis is delivered as a shock, and fear arises within the patients. CanSurvive tries to help patients clear their minds and dislodge the fear, igniting courage and encouraging them to heal properly. Think of it as an open conversation about your condition and how you can continue to improve your quality of life, no matter the stage of the disease. CanSurvive is not a treatment centre, but they have experts on hand to help with any advice, and they will refer you to other doctors and experts should you need it. Having the right doctor makes a huge difference that saves time and lives.

Do You Understand Why You’re Sick?

Dr Siby notes that most times, patients do not understand why they are sick. What happens is that when people fall sick, they visit the doctor, and receive prescriptions–all without understanding why they’re sick, missing out on the part of education, and left in the dark about their condition. Understanding is an integral part of the healing process; only with understanding can you acquire the knowledge of what you can/should do to take care of yourself. There are many choices to be made in regards of keeping oneself healthy, and CanSurvive empowers patients with the knowledge, urging them to use wisdom and intelligence to live well.

Image Credit: CanSurvive

To Arm Yourself with Knowledge

Cancer is a scene where people are working on it constantly. There’s new technology, research and medicine always being churned out and improved upon. However, above all the efforts, the disease is constantly mutating as well. Nobody has an answer, but CanSurvive has gathered knowledge across all fields, and presenting them to the public free of charge. Since its inception in 2010, they have been organising monthly talks by different experts. For the first few years, attendance was at 25-30 max. After five years, there was a hundred-strong crowd regularly at these monthly talks. They also organise hands-on workshops like how to cook healthy food in hopes of helping people adopt a healthy lifestyle, and they welcome all who’d like to check it out.

Image Credit: CanSurvive

An Integrative Approach to Cancer

This is the theme of the 11th Malaysian Conference on Holistic Healing in Cancer 2021, happening on 18th September 2021 (Saturday) from 9am to 5pm. The international conference is an annual affair, and each year they invite different experts to speak and share their knowledge with all. As the world battles the pandemic, the conference has moved online this year, and you can register for it here. Among other things, you’ll learn that selecting a holistic approach is an informed and personal decision. This year, they have a line up of six guest speakers, and you can find out more about it here. If you’d like to help contribute (they’re a non-profit organisation and all funds go towards setting up the conference annually), click here.

Image Credit: CanSurvive

“When we become sick, don’t go into fear. Be courageous, and take charge of your life. The first step is: be disciplined. Give your best in everything you do, and do what you can.” – Dr Siby, on not only tackling illness, but in life as well!

A bit more about CanSurvive:

  • A non-profit cancer charity organisation incorporated on 2nd June 2010, similar to organisations like CancerLink and The Jeffrey Cheah Foundation and many other foundations or “yayasan”
  • Provide guidance and compassionate community support for patients who suffer from cancer as well as their family and friends
  • Embrace all forms of treatment and healing therapies, including Allopathy, Homeopathy, Ayurveda, Qigong, Reiki, and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) among others
  • A workbook for cancer called “9 Pillars of Well-Being” will be launched soon, with all contributions to the book by their own members

More on Dr Siby:

  • Born in Kerala, India, but now based in KL
  • Practices Ayurveda, but also has a sound understanding of modern medical, paramedical sciences, and yoga
  • In 2014, Dr Siby was given an award of  ‘Ambassador of Peace’ by the Universal Peace Federation
  • In 2017, Dr Siby published a book called ‘Knowledge of Life: Tales of an Ayurvedic Practitioner in Malaysia’
  • A member of the Traditional and Complementary Medicine Council of the Ministry Of Health in Malaysia and the Malaysian Quality Accreditation (MQA) Council of Government of Malaysia
  • Most recently listed as one of the most successful people in Malaysia in a publication by the British Media Publication House